China to become global hub for electric cars

Rupert Reid Published: 2017-04-21 11:33:26
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Electric cars are currently mainly small city vehicles. That's set to change rapidly. [Photo: Thinkstock]

Electric cars are currently mainly small city vehicles. That's set to change rapidly. [Photo: Thinkstock]

China is set to become the world's most important market for the research, development and sale of electric cars.

That conclusion has been drawn by many international news outlets, following a series of announcements from vehicle manufacturers over the last few weeks.

Only yesterday, we reported that Volkswagen had revealed ambitious growth plans for China.

These plans included a prediction that by 2020, the majority of VW sales in China would be of electric or hybrid vehicles, through partnerships with local firms as well as ride-hailing pioneer Didi.

Earlier in April, US manufacturer Ford revealed plans to release an electric car in China.

We reported at the time that new model should be launched as early as next year, as part of its partnership with Chongqing Changan Automobile.

The firm has also revealed plans to ensure that 70 percent of its sales in China will be either hybrid or electric by 2025.

If any further evidence were needed of the extraordinary pace of next generation car development, today, we can reveal that Volvo has become the latest company to link its future ambitions to a Chinese electric vehicle.

From 2019, the Swedish firm (which is owned by Chinese auto-giant Geely) will offer its first all-electric vehicle, which will be produced in Shanghai.

Earlier in 2017, we reported that China has overtaken the USA as the world's largest market for electric cars.

That's partly as a result of the Chinese government's efforts to introduce more environmentally vehicles onto local roads, including a goal of increasing their number tenfold over the next few years.

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